Musical Idea 24: Forking

03.15.2014 § Leave a comment

This is a little more extreme version of Moments of Ambiguity. It’s sort of like the love child of Moments of Ambiguity with Chord Braiding. It’s also sort of like the love child of Tonal Stretching and Quantization Gravity. Not that fiddling with dials on tuning system parameters isn’t aharmonic already. But there’s something so deliberate and divorced from any relation to tuning theory that feels more stretchy about this. It’s total brute force, with no respect to what parameters got us where we are or where we’re going.

And it’s maybe achievable with quantization gravity, but much simpler and direct to describe using this method, and you don’t necessarily want to go to the closest guy in the next tuning or worry about designing specific non-uniform gravitational strength across particular lattices to achieve this straightforwardly.

What I’m saying is, when you want to move from one tuning system into another, you can just draw lines from notes in the first tuning to notes in the second tuning, and then just move from one to the next. The lines can be linear or smoothly curved. They can be allowed to cross or not. To be clear what I mean is that while the music is playing, the pitches that keys of your keyboard make are going to be changing and possibly re-ordering according to this scheme.

If there is an equal number of notes in the two tunings, you could have a one-to-one correspondence, but don’t have to. If you have not enough notes in the target tuning or just choose not to retain some of the old notes, you can just cut, fade, or chance them out (as described in the previous entry). If you have too many notes in the target tuning, you can either cut, fade, or chance a new one in, as in the previous entry, or! and this is the new part, you can split one note in the previous tuning into two or more. Actually you don’t even have to have too many notes in the target tuning to choose to do this, either. And of course more than one note in the previous tuning can coalesce into one in the new one.

What I think will be the most interesting part of playing with this is how you pick which notes expand into multiple ones and which ones coalesce — such as if you distribute them evenly, or expand all in a row then coalesce a bunch in a row, or the ratio between how many expand and how many coalesce, and how many each of those which expand expand into and how many each of those which coalesce coalesce into.



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